Studying abroad gives students an opportunity to explore first-hand many of the concepts, places, and stories from their work at Brandeis. It can create a more fruitful overall learning experience and push students to think in new ways on a variety of topics.
Some examples of student experiences:
- Gaining fluency in a language is why many students study abroad. While nervous at first, once in the country, students overcome these nerves and come back to campus confident in their language of study.
- A student studying international development in the classroom as an International and Global Studies major can then study in an actual developing country in Africa and witness some of the theories and projects they've learned about. Studying abroad allows students to learn and connect the dots of their classroom experiences in a new way.
- Studying on the Brandeis in The Hague program with an internship at an international law organization helps students explore non-domestic law and prepares them for future legal work. The connections from this experience are also lasting and can translate into a network and being a more competitive applicant for future employment.
Students also develop on a personal level when abroad, especially in these areas:
- independence and confidence
- concentrating on an academic focus
- growth as an individual
- a stronger sense of self, purpose, and life goals
- new understanding of the world and their place in it
- an eagerness to explore and try new things
- sensitivity to new cultures and appreciation for their home country
An experience abroad, whether learning, volunteering, or completing an internship, can make a significant impact on a students' professional journey. They may find themselves wanting to work in a more international capacity or the country of their studies. The Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis can be a helpful place for students to learn about how to do an international job/internship search. Many graduate schools look for students who have an understanding of various cultures and have had an international experience.
It's also important for students to remember to include their study abroad experience on their resumes. For an example of how this can be done, please review these sample resumes, courtesy of the Hiatt Career Center.
Students who study abroad may also be interested in pursuing Academic Fellowships upon their return from abroad. Studying abroad prepares students for the application process, helps them brainstorm research ideas, and also makes them stronger candidates compared to other applicants.
Students who study abroad are also more likely to win national scholarships. Past winners include:
- Jesse Appell ’12, studied abroad in China, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in China
- Matthew Kupfer ’12, studied abroad in Russia, Carnegie Junior Fellow for the Russia/Eurasia Program in Washington, D.C.
- Mia Katan ’15, studied abroad in Uganda and on the Brandeis in The Hague program, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Vietnam
- Joel Burt-Miller ’16, studied abroad in South Africa, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in India
- Carlyle Vincent ’16, studied abroad in Greece, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Greece
- Thaviny (Terry) Shaipitisiri ’17, studied abroad in Thailand, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Thailand
- Troia Reyes-Stone ’17, studied abroad on the Brandeis in The Hague program, Fulbright Binational Internship to Mexico
Many alumnae of Brandeis are positively impacted by their studies abroad. Some examples include:
- Thomas Friedman ’75 - Journalist and author, studied abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and American University in Cairo, Egypt. Later as a Marshall Scholar he earned a M.Phil from St. Antony's College at the University of Oxford.
- Marta Kauffman ’78 - Studied abroad in London, UK (Co-creator of "Friends" and other notable television programs).
- Debra Messing ’90 - Studied theatre abroad in London, UK. (Grace Adler on "Will and Grace" and other notable acting roles.)
- Weldon Kennedy ’06 - Studied abroad with CIEE/Senegal and SIT/Vietnam and is currently the Global Development Director for Change.org based in Nairobi, Kenya.
- Elana Fox ’08 - Studied abroad with SIT/Kenya and is now the country manager for OneAcreFund.org in Bolgatanga, Ghana.
- Beneva Davies ’13 - Interned abroad for the Special Court on Sierra Leone while abroad on Brandeis in The Hague. She is now a Children's Rights Advocate with the Human Rights Watch in New York City.